Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Research Student: Dr Rowshan Hannan

Co-operative governance: a pathway to rural poverty reduction? The case of Kenya

Photo of Dr Rowshan Hannan

This research looks at the co-operative institutional form and the extent to which it can help reduce poverty in the African context. It compares two dairy farmer co-operatives in Kenya with difference governance histories and outcomes, exploring whether and why their impact on poverty might vary. This is an in-depth qualitative study carried out with co-operative member and non-member households and communities. Field research was carried out in 2012, and focused on using a range of participatory methods.


I have an MSC in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics. I have worked as a Humanitarian Adviser and as a Disaster Resilience Adviser in the Department for International Development. I am also an Associate of the UK Co-operative College, and have worked with co-operatives movements throughout East and Southern Africa.

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

I have worked in international development for many years, and wanted to take stock of how I was engaged in this field. Undertaking PhD studies has allowed me to re-evaluate my assumptions in international development, and to think about how research can help improve my day-to-day approach, as well as contribute wider to the practical field.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

Despite significant funding in international development in the new millennium, we have still not been able to eradicate the worst forms of poverty. I believe that this is possible, and that it must be achieved. Research that looks at alternative ways of approaching development is important to achieving this.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

Return to the work that I was doing in international development, with a better understanding of how I can continue to contribute to this area.

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